Wandering

Quite recently, I have been contemplating the meaning of romantic love, the place of monogamy in this love and all other contraptions and rules of romantic love that are generally accepted.

I’m of the Disney generation. Therefore a part of me believes in ‘happily ever after’ and ‘the one’. Not in its entirety, but I want to believe in that. The special look, the ugly sisters getting in the way and prince charming.

I am also of the ‘Father of the Bride’ generation. The one where families move because of the wife’s ambition and the women know exactly what they want, fully kitted with husbands that will eventually align. And because Steve Martin wouldn’t dare tell me lies, I believe that this is possible. That there are men who will play the support role in their women’s lives and be happy in this role.

Added to the above, I read. I read about women like Simone de Beauvoir who had multiple partners but still managed to have a healthy and intellectually stimulating relationship with one man. I read about sexuality and understand that it is fluid. And attraction can move from one sex to another. Therefore it is perfectly alright for me to be in love with this man I’m in love with, but have attractions to other people. It is alright that this man does not feel threatened by this. Perhaps it is not alright that I feel terrified by it. My sexuality and his. For what is good for the goose is good for the gander. But I’m a territorial girl. And if I could pee on him to set boundaries, I would.

From the moment I could have sexual fantasies, I’ve never had one where I have just one lover. I remember being in primary school and planning how to seduce room service waiters by dropping my towel. I don’t know how or where I learned that, but I know my friends Nne and Ije always had an elaborate plan. It always ended with dropping towels, because we didn’t know what came after.

Then I discovered how to make me ‘happy’. By squeezing my thighs together. And I could make more stories. Sometimes with one person, other nights, I was on a roll. Then I was in high school and making out with all the boys that moved to me. And learning that moving to me in secret did not mean claiming in public. Then I learned of the freedom in this. If no one was claiming me, then I could have them all and have no responsibilities after. Depending on the person, sometimes this hurt, other times? Bliss.

Then I was in college and I fell for this one. And I learned that falling for this person did not stop me from finding refuge in another from time to time. But I loved this one.

Then others. Each time, with a promise to do better. What did better mean? To cage my wandering heart. Then to blossom under the ‘unwanted attention’. To give my best in my relationship when this ‘unwanted attention’ surfaced. To wonder about myself. To punish myself worse than society.

Then to meet him. With whom I am free. With whom, I am terrified. Because I want him. I want all of him. I want to give him all of me. Wandering heart that is me. To know that he is the constant I want, and to wonder about my need for variables. To have him be okay with the variables and ask me do me.

Now I am frightened. Because his kind only exists in books. Or as partners of these women I admire. Could he really be here? For me?

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Yellow

Love lost. Love found. Love that never happened.

I’m not quite sure what ours was. It was there, but it never happened. Even to us.
We had always been friends. Friends first. He bullied his way into my life and ensured he was a pretty important part of it.
But we were friends. Friends first.

Then he got out of a relationship, then I got out of a relationship. And we slowly gravitated into this thing. A thing we never really talked about. “Are you good?”, “yh”. “Good, see you Sunday”.
That may not sound like a lot of feeling, but it healed me. We talked about everything, except what we were doing.
Momma, jobs, frustrations, trips to places. And I knew he was a safe place. We would just bitch about life, then watch movies.
Bond movies at first, then Mad Max, then Romance movies and Gladiator.

I cried during Gladiator. No. I wept. I wept and sobbed. And he let me cry. Then he comforted me.
The next morning, he looked at, peeked really, from over his pillow and said “Oh yh, yesterday, you cried like a bitch”. I hit him on the head. Of course.

I feel the need to put this down, to recognize this special thing I had early this year. I treasured it so much, and yet I somehow didn’t have the courage or the will to try and take it further. Maybe it wasn’t supposed to go further.

I remember, just after he had come by mine to talk about his failed relationship. I was still in one, and filled with relationship wisdom. We sat in his car and talked and talked. Then I went upstairs, and my grandma had some unpleasant things to say.
I text him to rant, and he called back. “You’re an amazing woman. You are not those things she said. I need you to believe that”. And I did. I smiled and I calmed down.

But we didn’t take it further.

Then one day. I was healed. Not entirely, but the emotional pain had subsided a bit and I thought of broaching the ‘let’s take it to the next level’ topic. But I knew he wasn’t ready. He was still hurting. So I gave it time.
Then one day I told him, and spoke it into the universe, that I was ready to fall in love again. And he bid me good luck.
The universe responded, almost immediately, and flung a man in my path. A man that is currently making me happy.

But sometimes, I think about the man who calls me ‘Yellow’ and smile. A man that is still my friend, still solidly in my corner. A man with whom our love never took off.

I smile. He healed me.

Short dress

I remember the first time I wore a short dress out. By out, I mean outside my room, out of the dorms and in full view of Nigerian college kids with an opinion. Yes. I was in college when I first wore a short dress out in public.

The reactions were beautiful.

I had always wanted to wear a short skirt or dress. I had tried on many long shirts in front of my mirror, pranced around my room, then I remembered that my daddy said good girls don’t wear short dresses.

My daddy has a lot to say about what women should be doing. In reality, he’s not a terrible guy. He provides for his family, pays school fees, dances pretty well and has an infectious laugh. At work, he’s a good mentor, tough, but apparently, kind etc. etc. So yes. Good guy.

He’s also an African Christian dad with world views that are pretty dicey for a budding feminist.

Thinking back, I was a feminist long before I knew the word existed. I just knew the dynamics of things weren’t right. I had already started dreaming of owning my own things and flying around the world and seducing waiters (sigh). But, I think one of the defining moments was when my dad looked through my junior prom pictures and when he refused to let me visit a friend.

I had junior prom. I didn’t have a date – I wasn’t one of the ones people considered dateable.  One day I’ll have to gather the boys of my set together and find out why – purely for research. I digress.

I went for junior prom and took a ton of pictures. When they had been developed, my dad asked to look through them. Mistake.

He managed to find a fault for everyone!! Her top is spilling out, she’s showing shoulders, that’s too short. It was devastating. How could he see something so different from what I saw? I had admired all those dresses. I had thought the ladies looked awesome. But he didn’t. And he wasn’t done with me.

Did I mention my dad could draw too?

Anyway, he called me a few days after the inspection to show me some drawings. He had drawn knees with various skirt lengths attached to them and impressed on me the importance of covering my body. Girls who showed their bodies were looked at in a certain light. I remember nodding and thinking “I don’t want to be looked at in that light”. So I pranced in my short dress in my room.

His refusal to let me visit a friend is a story for another day.

So. I didn’t wear short dresses. And after a while, I didn’t swim too.

Then I got into college.

And everyone wondered why I wore jeans under what was obviously a short dress. Not short short, just a few inches above the knee. I can’t remember the day. But I know I had a pair of pink slippers that I thought would look good with my black dress.

So I waited for night time. Put on my dress. Forgot the jeans and walked out.

I haven’t walked back in.

Efo Riro

I made efo riro yesterday.

I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it actually was. I’m not the best cook and not really a fan of cooking, but the situation called for it.

And BOOM sexy efo riro with beef and goat meat.

Shout outs go to:

  1. Ose for telling me about this website: http://www.myfoodwarehouse.com/. They delivered my order on time. The produce had already been cleaned. The spinach I ordered had been finely chopped (something I could never have achieved on my own)
  2. Corry. For the recipe.
  3. I’m going to include myself, for knowing how to follow instructions.

Love,

Sabby

Friends

I met Ada at a wedding.

It was a chance meeting.

I wanted to light my cigarette in peace, and a young would be suitor yakked on and invaded my personal space. Ada came to my rescue.

She told him off and he let me be.

I lit my cigarette, looked back at her and said ‘Thanks’. I don’t remember much about our conversation after, but I know we went dancing. Turns out, she’s my party animal too. It was fantastic, we danced, we boogied and we drank.

Bliss.

We exchanged numbers, then decided not to call ourselves. Typical.

Then I met her again. At a wedding. Same people – white wedding.

Since then, it’s a blur. She’s encouraged me. She’s had fun with me. And we’ve complained about the men in our lives, and Nigerian men generally.

Corry stalked me.

I met her at a mini-hangout. ‘Met’ is stretching it. I said hello…maybe a few other words, but I didn’t realize I had made an impression.

I must have, because I got a Twitter follow and we have been messaging and infuriating ourselves ever since.

She can be a bit crazy, but when she loves you, she loves you and showers you with food.

Everyone knows foods is my love language, so we are good.

‘Sagie and Biggie are like brothers now.

Forever reprimanding. Forever correcting. Forever ready to be nuisances.

Thank you for the Bible reading. Thank you for the ‘I gatchu’s. Thank you for the ‘I’m being very sincere’.

Thank for the random checking in. Thank you.

I didn’t exactly notice Snapback at the party. But she was sick and said so on the group. So I checked in. Because sick random people need love too.

She’s not so random now. And I owe her a visit.

Then there’s Max. I don’t know how many car situations he’s saved me from. Or how many random ‘Please help me with…’ that he’s come through for me. But for each one. God bless.

2015 was my year of people. I needed all these people, and somehow they showed up. I didn’t ask for them. In my mind, I was doing pretty well as a lone wolf. Then they all showed up.

Forever grateful.

Married feminists

Where are the married feminists in Nigeria? How do I contact them? Do they have a website?

They need to hold a seminar or a twitter talk or something and tell the unmarried folk how they are getting on.

In case you didn’t know: men can be feminists too. And we need all the contributions from all sides.

Women:

  1. Do you work?
  2. If you are a traditional woman, how does it feel being married to a feminist?
  3. How are chores split?
  4. How did the conversation to split chores go?
  5. Was it one conversation? Or a series of conversations?
  6. Did the conversations involve emotional blackmail?
  7. Who earns more?
  8. Who manages finances?
  9. How did you get him interested in your hobbies?
  10. How do you fight?
  11. How do you state your opinions with hurting the oh-so-fragile ego?
  12. What’s top five changes should the unmarried folk be prepared for that no one talks about?
  13. Are you happy?

Men:

  1. Do you work?
  2. How’s your ego doing?
  3. If you are a traditional man, how does it feel being married to a feminist?
  4. Do you help out with chores?
  5. How were you convinced to do this?
  6. Do you think your wife is rude?
  7. How do you fight?
  8. Who earns more?
  9. Who manages finances?
  10. How do you state your opinions?
  11. How did you get her involved in your hobbies?
  12. What top five changes should unmarried folk be prepared for that no one talks about?
  13. Are you happy?

Let me know please!!!

Sabby

What’s your number worth?

My friend is always accusing me of some specific things.

Number one on that list is knowing too many people. Number two is giving out my number like party packs.

The first one is slander, and as soon as said friend has money, I’m going to sue. The second, might be right.

There’s a reason for this: peace of mind.

The intelligent questions, of course, is how do I achieve peace of mind when all of Lagos has my number?

This weekend, I had a flat tyre. It was particularly annoying because two days ago I had asked a vulcanizer to fill it with air. I woke up Sunday evening, ready to start my day and saw that the just pumped tyre was losing air.

It had enough for a drive to Lekki 1 to look for a vulcanizer and while I was on Admiralty, I thought, why not get ice cream. Ice cream in hand, I spotted a vulcanizer and requested that he hoist the car, remove the offending tyre and give it a medical. Turns out the tyre was fine, but a valve was bad.

It would cost N1000 to change the valve, and because I haven’t learnt my lesson from the previous time I was cash strapped, I didn’t have any money on me. The kind vulcanizer agreed to fix the tyres and then accompany me to the nearest ATM.

While the vulcanizer was doing his thing, Nigerian man number one approached me and said,

“When you go home, thank mummy and daddy for making you so sexy. Hi, my name is AY”

Hopefully you can understand why I refused to grace him with a response. I simply shook my head. To his credit, he walked away after the second try and didn’t bother me.

Nigerian man number two was in his red/maroon car watching me enjoy my ice cream. Soon after the ice cream had been polished off, Nigerian man waved from his car and said,

“Sister, you did not invite me. You just finished the ice cream like that”.

I pretended not to have heard and hoped that he would drop whatever line of conversation he was aiming at. He didn’t. He repeated the line and included a toothy grin. So I raised an eyebrow, gave him a mock apology and began to focus rather intently on the vulcanizer’s work.

Finally the vulcanizer was done. However, just before he could hop into my car, Nigerian man number three showed up and offered to pay. This what happened,

“Has she paid?”

“No”

“Okay, I’m paying”

“Excuse me, are you getting in the car?”

“Madam, this oga say e wan pay?”

“Why do you want to pay?”

“I just want to pay”

“Why?”

“I want to pay”

“What will it cost me?”

“I just want to get to know you”

…offers phone.

“080….. bye.”

If you’re in Nigeria, you’ll understand better how this conversation might have been annoying. If you’re out of Nigeria, I really don’t know how to explain it to you because tone, environment etc play a role.

And so I zoom off. Bill paid. Annoying conversation avoided.

And incessant calls at 11pm.

Sigh.